This opulent Paris apartment, designed by architect Gerard Faivre, softens the Haussmannian rigidity
When architect Gerard Faivre first visited this opulent apartment, walking distance from the Seine’s right bank, he was instantly captivated. Housed on the second floor of an 1880’s Haussmannian building, this 280 square meter apartment is bright due to its 11 windows and balcony that face the Boulevard Saint Germain, transformed during the reign of Napoleon III.
While traveling to England, Napoleon III became mesmerized by the aura of prestige that the buildings of London radiated. Baron Haussmann was commissioned to bring this idea to life. Although sensitive to Haussmannian architecture, to counteract the austere vibe, he revisited the space as a whole as to be in tune with the contemporary codes of comfort.
He redistributed the rooms, private bathroom and dressing room for each bedroom and installed today’s state-of-the-art technologies. The color palette of gold and black is reminiscent of the style of Napoleon III while remaining contemporary in spirit. However, he retained some elements of the period, such as the parquet floor, windows with interior shutters, fireplaces and moldings, door locks and handles in brass, as well as some frescos and stained-glass windows.
The design statement begins at the entrance, which provides a theatrical aura, and traces a similar ethos throughout the space. To pursue his initial idea of softening the Haussmannian rigidity, Faivre designed some of the furniture and spaces, such as the dressing rooms and bathrooms, as curved and rounded, with corresponding pieces from contemporary designers. In the interiors, we find not only a soft radiance, but a certain artistic sensuality that the feminine connotation of the word “round” evokes, an attribute expressed with elegance. He has also designed rounded bookshelves and walk-in closets.
The main bathroom features satin enameled ceramic tiles from Normandie by Palatino Flooring and white gold mosaic from Bisazza in the shower area. The bathtub was designed by Jaime Hayon for Bisazza. The storage units have been custom-made by Renaissance et Restauration. Favre designs his interiors as an artist, carefully selecting all objects and light fixtures. The bed-heads also act in accordance with the theme of rounded softness. Some of the rooms open to a winter garden thus allowing the light and exterior nature to join the interior. Faivre has used contemporary wallpapers in the bathrooms portraying the sky, the vegetation and in the principal room, the blossoming of a flower, a strong symbol of femininity expressed with beauty.
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